Scottish Brew and a Sky So Blue
A Review of Twisted Chile Scotch Ale by Twisted Chile Brewing Co.
Posted on 1/14/2015 by Chops
                   
Great
It never ceases to amazed me just how unbelievably ubiquitous the American craft beer scene has become. Many of us are old enough to remember just how dismal the beer scene used to be in this country. It seemed that every bar had the same handful of taps from the same handful of corporate behemoth breweries. Craft beer was a luxury item that was only available in progressive metropolitan areas. My how things have changed. Today, it's actually anomalous for any given town to NOT have a brewery of its own.

Take the tiny town of Socorro, New Mexico for instance. Socorro is located 80 miles south of Albuquerque and is the very definition of a sleepy little town. You can drive from one end to the other in a matter of minutes, and yet, the town is home to several craft breweries. Yes, several. One of these is the Twisted Chile Brewing Company, located in the heart of town inside the historic JJ Baca House, built in 1870. I was passing through Socorro on my way to visit the NRAO Very Large Array, so I made it a point to stop and sample some local suds. First up was the Twisted Chile Scotch Ale.

In the glass, this beer had a deep brown coloration with a warm reddish hue. It came with a frothy tan head that had very nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted by that classic candied malty aroma of a good Scotch Ale. The aroma was full of caramel with notes of brown sugar, malt roast, and dark chocolate. I also uncovered a moderate nip of alcohol, which is not uncommon for the style, as these beers can be big malty monsters. I found no glaring issues with the introduction, so I happily dove in for that first sip.

Scotch Ales are well known for their vibrant complexity, and this one was no different. Along with the aromatic notes of caramel and chocolate, the flavor opened up earthy notes, light spices, and a hint of smoke. The hops profile was earthy and non-aggressive, allowing for easy access and carefree enjoyment. The beer had a lighter than average body and felt generally smooth on the palate. The finish was somewhat dry and exited with a roasted bitter aftertaste.

Overall, I found Twisted Chile's Scotch Ale to be a tasty and satisfying brew. In evaluating my overall opinion of this beer, I have to give credit where credit is due, and a lot of that credit comes from the fact that I was enjoying a Scottish beer style crafted by a small brewery in a tiny New Mexico town. That, my beer-loving friends, is awesome. This is a brew that I can easily recommend to any and all beer fans. It offers rewarding complexity and high accessibility, a winning combination that appeals to the entire fan spectrum. I only caution novices because that 7.4% ABV can sneak up on you in a hurry.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Twisted Chile Brewing Company because they beautifully embody what the American craft beer scene is all about. Our brewers do what they want, how they want, where they want. This is, of course, why we love them and keep coming back for more. I mean c'mon, how often do you get to enjoy a locally crafted Scottish ale under the deep blue sky of the New Mexican desert? That's a damn cool experience.

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Twisted Chile Scotch Ale by Twisted Chile Brewing Co.
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